David O Zelkowitz

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This stub is a work-in-progress by the ScienceCorruption.com journalists's group. We are indexing the millions of documents stored at the San Francisco Uni's Legacy Tobacco Archive [1] With some entries you'll need to go to this site and type into the Search panel a (multi-digit) Bates number. You can search on names for other documents also.     Send any corrections or additions to editor@sciencecorruption.com


This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

David O Zelkowitz (also listed as David R) was a third-level Philip Morris USA executive with the title - Director of Issues Management from 1985. He was closely involved with the tort-reform scam, and became a member of the industry's Ad Hoc Tort-Reform Committee.'

Zelkowitz was German born, but spent most of his working life rising up through the ranks of Philip Morris in the USA — although he served a stint in Europe also. He began working for the company as a Marketing Analyst in 1961, then moved across the International company as Area Research Manager in 1967. He then transferred to Philip Morris Europe (based in Lausanne, Switzerland) as Market Research Manager in 1969, then a few years later became Director, Headquarters/Marketing & Planning for the EEMA (Europe/Middle East/Africa Region),
In 1982, he transferred to the New York office as Director, Business Development for Philip Morris International. Shortly after he became Director of Issues Management for the PM Group, which put him in charge of many of the misinformation projects, etc.

Documents and Timeline

1966 Feb 25: He is conducting 'name tests' for Philip Morris proposed new cigarette line. [2]

1969: Transferred to Philip Morris Europe, based in Lausanne (also known as FTR). He is still involved in product testing and market development as Marketing Research Manager.

1972 Jan 28: He is promoted to Director of Marketing Services. He now reports to Walter Thoma (now VP and Chief Administrative Officer for Philip Morris Europe (PME) at Lausanne). [3]

1976 Oct 21: Mary Covington (who ran ICOSI) is ccing him with a memo on the proposal for a World Tobacco Symposium on Smoking & Health. This appears to be a reasonably genuine symposium (unlike many of the later ones). However he has clearly moved into the PM clique which engages in disinformation campaigns. He is probably valued for his psychology and polling background. [4]

1980 June 20: He is doing the calculations (with Bill Murray) to buy Rothmans International from Rupert (the owner of the South African Rembrant Group). They were anxious not to appear too keen. [5]

1984 Nov 18: He is obviously a friend and contact for David Henderson a high-ranking Republican Congressman who lobbied for the Tobacco Institute and also served as an aide to the Republican billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. [6]

1985 Sep 5: He is on Corporate Affairs main memo list and receiving information on the anti-smoking societies. This is an indication that he is a key part of the industry activities trying to attack the credibility, budgets and motivations of these groups. [7]

1986: Named as Director, Issues Management PMMC in New York

1987 June: He is now listed as Director Issues Management PMMC (the USA management group). This is a list of those Philip Morris executives (and a few outside consultants) attending a meeting on Operation Downunder -- which Bill Murray organised as a company random ideas-conference to try to devise a new strategy for the tobacco industry. "Downunder" refers to the recent successes that Andrew Whist, while leading the Australian industry, had had in bribing some politicians and blocking anti-smoking activism. Whist is at this conference, and is shifted to New York. [8]

1987 Oct 6: Memo from Fred Newman and Zelkowitz on "Ohio product liability legislation" (figured in 2002 Geoff Bible's deposition)

1988 Mar 8: He is being ccd by lawyer Jim Fyock who served as Group Public Relations Director for RJ Reynolds.
  Fred Seitz, the President Emeritus at Rockefeller University (also a RJ Reynolds Tobacco consultant) was trying to mediate between Walter O Spitzer (McGill University biostatistician) and Alvan R Feinstein (Yale University epidemiologist) over a spurious study they were jointly conducting for the tobacco industry. All three were long-term tobacco consultants, and they are putting together an international study on passive smoking for the industry to use as propaganda. [9]
    [Note: This study was separate from the McGill University ETS Symposium which came shortly after.] [10]

1988 Apr 7: In the planning for the Philip Morris Chairman/CEO Hamish Maxwell's speech to be made in Virginia, it is suggested that he should comment about the dangers of value-added taxes. Zelkowitz is clearly in charge of such matters matters for PM since they deal with 'Issues'.

"This is a tax idea that's gaining momentum and one that can hurt PM and other companies; the Virginia forum would be a great place to try our views out. Roy has extensive background material. Needs check with Zelkowitz. Could be part of a very useful, forward-looking campaign." [11]

1988 Apr 12: He is on the list of members of the tobacco industry's Ad Hoc Committee on tort reform. [12]

1988 Dec 13: This is Geoff Bible's Action plan for the Corporate Affairs Conference at Boca Raton. Zelkowitz is in the New York office now with Andrew Whist, William H Webb, Wendy Burrell, ? Harris, ? Nelson etc. He is now at the center of the PM conspiracy group.

[13] He has been given the primary responsibility for an International Smokers Survey to "help us shape our communications program." Bible poses the question:

Do we want basic answers to help us shape our program or do we want "marketable research" ? We want both but one survey cannot achieve this . My sense is to conduct the basic research first for our internal purposes and then decide it we want to go further .
    ACTION: To redefine the survey questionnaire to achieve exactly our aims.


1989 Jan 13: He is being copied on the draft legislation for the Texas product liability reform — supposedly prepared by a 'citizens grassroots' organisation named the Texas Civil Justice League — which was actually run by tobacco industry lobbyists Jack Dillard, Ralph Wayne and Karl Rove.

This draft legislation has been written by the C&B lawyers. It greatly weakened the ability of Texas citizens to sue for damages — and virtually removed their ability to pursue class-actions. In the first stage it was fostered by the Texan Lt Governor Bob Bullock, but it was finally pushed through by Governor Bush.

The names listed here are all part of the tobacco industry's Ad Hoc Committee on Tort Reform together with Joseph Bankoff, a tobacco lawyer from King & Spalding in Atlanta. [15]

1989 Aug 4: memo on Texas tort reform efforts from Gullahorn (Aiken Gump Strauss) about the organisation and operation of Texan Civil Justice League (TCJL), where he figures along with Neal Cohen of APCO and Jack Quinn of Arnold & Porters (and the Clinton White House). Shortly before this date Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, the Washington-based legal lobby firm headed a massive consortium of law firms put together by the tobacco industry to attack the product liability laws in Texas. The group carries the name "Texas Ad Hoc Group" (Later renamed the TCJL).

Ron Kessler (JDRP in Austin)) and Jon Newton (of Clark Thomas Winters & Newton in Austin) appear to be current the team leaders, with a number of Texas law firms also involved.. [16]

1990 Jul 13 - 15: Industry Planning Conference at The Greenbrier is being organised by Zelkowitz at Philip Morris (Vice President, Corporate Issues Management) [href="http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ewi33b00/pdf

1990 Nov 5: In house lawyer Fred Newman has prepared a State tort reform project outline which will cost PM USA about $3 million - mostly for lawyers fees. Currently PM USA is contributing 1/3 of the State tort-reform costs associated with Covington & Burling (obviously the other companies fund the other 66%) and 100% of Arnold & Porters charges.
    Bernie Robinson has taken lead in running the Texas tort-reform project (with Karl Rove and supported by George W Bush). He is hoping that David Zelkowitz's Issues Division will pay APCO's (PR and grassroots CALA/ATRA) fees. [17] [Note: CALA = Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. There were 10 chapters, all run by ATRA for large corporations, including the tobacco industry.
ATRA = American Tort Reform Association, a sham organisation run for the corporations. They generated urban myths about how companies were being destroyed by legal actions over torts. (See Manhattan Institute also)

1996: In the case of the State of Texas vs the combined American tobacco industry, Zelkowitz was listed as a "friend of tobacco" by Judge Folsom. [18]

1996: Book "Ashes to Ashes" implicates him in various industry scams (mistakenly listing him as an attorney) Page 688 refers to an Aug 4 1989 memo on Texas tort reform efforts, where he figures along with Neal Cohen of "APCO & Associates" and Jack Quinn of Arnold & Porters (and the Clinton White House). [19]